The week in emerging markets, including our most read, five things we have learned and some long reads for the weekend. Plus the week in a chart: the South African rand nears a five-year low. Continue reading »
With a restrained grin, Mihaly Varga, Hungary’s economy minister, pressed the button to open trading at the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday – simultaneously inaugurating the Xetra trading system for the first time in the Hungarian capital. Continue reading »
President Nicolás Maduro is a fraud, his government is incompetent and corrupt, most ministers should be sacked, the ruling Socialist Party’s ideological discourse is sterile, the national “Bolivarian” project is on a suicide path, and there is a growing risk of a coup from within the administration.
But don’t believe the FT on any of this. These are the words of Heinz Dieterich, a Marxist professor and former mentor of Hugo Chávez, writing in the leftist website Aporrea. Having cleared our throats before Sunday’s municipal elections, what actually is at stake at the vote — in concrete terms? Continue reading »
Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich met Vladimir Putin, his Russian counterpart, at the Winter Olympic resort of Sochi on Friday to discuss “trade-economic cooperation in different economic spheres and preparation to the future Strategic Partnership Agreement,” according to Yanukovich’s website.
A strategic partnership agreement? Really? Yanukovich and his lieutenants have been claiming imminent deals with Russia, China and the European Union for the past few days (our photo shows him in China with premier Li Keqiang before leaving for Sochi). But so far there is no sign of the cash injection Ukraine needs if it is to stave off what some analysts fear is now an imminent threat of a balance of payments crisis and even default. Continue reading »
A nice IMF research paper shows how rare Latin American financial crises have been since 1998, when the world was rocked by EM currency crises. We’ve graphed the findings below.
Carlos Vegh and Guillermo Vuletin, the authors, think the continent has learnt from 1998. Successful countries like Brazil, Peru and Chile have stimulated their economies when GDP dipped; before 1998, they were less keen to do so. Continue reading »
* South Africa mourns Nelson Mandela
* WTO clears way for landmark global trade deal
* Asia equities on hold ahead of US jobs data Continue reading »
Gabon joined the year’s rostrum of sovereign African eurobond issuers on Thursday with a 10 year “soft bullet” issue of $1.5bn priced to yield 6.375 per cent.
It follows comparable landmark issues over the past 15 months from Zambia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana. So how does it stack up? Continue reading »
Friday’s reads from the beyondbrics team: Mandela; Tett on EMs; wine; can Peña reform; and Peter the Great’s avengers. Plus: Madiba; WTO deal nears; fix the Philippines; Mao and Xi. Continue reading »
India’s benchmark equity index is nearing its all-time high and the volatile rupee is the strongest it has been against the dollar in weeks. Part of the explanation lies in exit polls released this week which suggest that the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may do well when results for five state elections are announced on Sunday.
But how important are these results and what can we expect from the markets in the coming months? Continue reading »
It’s the ultimate frontier market. On the top floor of a building in the Himalayan town of Thimphu are the modest headquarters of the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan, which has just 11 employees, 21 listed companies, four brokers and a turnover that sometimes barely exceeds 10m ngultrum ($160,000) a month.
“We haven’t yet established all the fundamentals of a capital market,” says Dorji Phuntsho, chief executive of the exchange, acknowledging that some of the latest prices shown date back to the 1990s. “It’s embarrassing that the shops are open but there are no customers.” Continue reading »
China’s ban on banks doing business in Bitcoin, the volatile digital currency, throws up big questions for Bitcoin enthusiasts in India, who insist India is the world’s largest potential market for the e-currency.
The Bitcoin community in India remains small, with just 50,000 people using or even aware of the e-currency so far according to Sathvik Vishwanath, chief executive of CoinMonk Ventures, an Indian Bitcoin service and investment company. But interest is growing. Continue reading »
* Mandela: man on mission to bind a nation
* Asia equities on hold ahead of US jobs data
* JLR to spend £240m on Brazilian plant Continue reading »
By Kevin Lings of Stanlib
Nelson Mandela has had an unprecedented calming and positive influence on South Africa’s political, economic and social environment for almost 25 years. His life-long quest for peace and reconciliation disarmed even the staunchest opponent, allowing diverse groups of people to work together in a way that seemed unimaginable prior to the ending of apartheid. It is time for the political, business and labour leadership of South Africa to honour his legacy and move this country forward to the benefit of all. Continue reading »
Heineken, which bills itself as “the world’s most international brewer”, is stepping up its drive into the premium beer market in Mexico. It’s going to be tough, for two reasons.
First, beer is ubiquitous in Mexico – and very, very cheap (a bottle of beer is not far off the price of a bottle of water). So persuading consumers to switch from their cheap lager of choice to a premium brand, at higher cost, sounds like a tough sell. (To put that into perspective – premium brand beers only account less than 5 per cent of Mexico’s $7.5bn beer market, Heineken says.)
The second hurdle is competition: Heineken, which bought Mexico’s No. 2 brewer Femsa Cerveza in 2010 (and has a stable that also includes Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Bohemia and Indio), is up against the larger Modelo brewery (maker of Corona and Estrella beer), which was taken over this year by Belgium’s AB InBev and has 58 per cent of the market to Heineken’s 41 per cent.
Continue reading »
By Nicholas Watson of bne
Road construction in the Czech Republic has long been a murky business. But insiders grumble that new depths for the industry have been plumbed following a barrage of criticism aimed at plans to renovate the country’s main D1 motorway and revelations from Prague city that the contract to build the now almost-complete €1.3bn Blanka tunnel complex was legally questionable from the start. Continue reading »